Computers, modems, phones, printers, files, spaghetti wires, books and office supplies comprise the contents of most home offices. Oh, and papers, lots and lots of papers.
Here are several organizing tips I’ve compiled for you to create a new year of organization, systemization and productivity.
Remember that it took time to get your office in the current state it’s in so... take baby steps & pace yourself while reorganizing your new home office.
1. Start with your desk location. Do you like it? Does it fit your growing needs for the year? Is it where you like it in the room? What do you face as you look up from your computer? Start with your desk and decide if you are ready for a location change that supports greater productivity and communications .
2. Clear off the desk top. Remove everything from the surface. Paper piles, coffee mugs of pens/pencils, the computer, printer, everything. This should free you up for a new look, a new attitude, and a new functionality. Wipe clean and start fresh!
3. Be deliberate with your PC monitor, modem and printer locations. That "spaghetti wire" can be untangled and controlled with Velcro zip-ties. Once you commit, untangling the wires untangles your mind!
4. Be strategic with your keyboard, modem and printer placement. These office tools support your productivity. Locate them for easy access and daily use. Copy paper, ink and other supplies should be nearby for ready replacement.
5. Pens, pencils and business cards, oh my! You have collected an “impressive” quantity of pens, pencils and business cards, as we all have! Try this pen purge exercise to get rid of extra pens you no longer use. Sample each pen, highlighter and pencil. If it’s dull, out of ink, or just feels like it’s time…toss it out. Same with biz cards; review them (quickly) and toss out those you know are outdated. Enter card info into your phone or PC database.
6. Office supplies. Consolidate your stapler, hole punch, scissors, rulers, paper clips, push pins and the like. Store what you need in a top-drawer location while keeping surplus supplies elsewhere. Toss out old supplies that you’ve never used. Fresh supplies elevate your productivity, mood and well-being.
7. Folders, papers, and that dreaded “file pile’. Now it’s time for the “heavy lifting”. What to file? Where, when, and how? Get ready. This process takes time, focus and energy.
8. If you’ve got file cabinets that are overflowing with tightly wedged papers, invoices and bills, begin here. Take out your shredder, some good music, a healthy snack, and a sizable garbage can.
You’re about to enter the“file zone”.You’ll need to be calm, patient and deliberate.
9. Open up your first active file (usually alpha order) and decide if you really need all those AT&T past paid bills. Check the dates. I suggest you keep a 12-month record and discard the old bills. Purge beyond a year. Tax returns, mortgages, car titles, insurance policies, wills and financial portfolio docs can go back several years for safe keeping. Medical files often require sub categories, like “general, specialist, prescriptions.” This is a “deep dive” decluttering process. Get up and Take breaks often -- Go through three letters of the alphabet at a time… stay with it but keep yourself from getting overwhelmed by taking breaks – it is a process that simply takes time.
10. Give me a call if you want organizational support. Happy to review your system with Facetime feedback and a specific plan of action. 561-706-7779.
11. How about electronic filing?? Overwhelmed by the number of old emails you have? Take a look. These old messages are subconsciously weighing you down. Reviewing, filing and deleting old emails is an ongoing process. Review and delete say,100 old emails at a time. Just begin and you’ll feel better fast!
12. Books, bookshelves and papers. Your home office attracts books, calendars, reminders and papers. It is important to group active books from rarely used books to be more productive, lighter and focused. Inspect your bookshelves. Purge, donate, repurpose or just simply enjoy and appreciate your prized possessions!! Make space for new items to appear.
13. Add a living element to your new home office. Bring a plant and/or a fountain into your new home office. Each provides good company, life energy (like oxygen), and serves as a pleasing visual effect. Fresh cut flowers bring in good vibes as well.
14. Add an essential oil diffuser or a natural candle for calming energy in your new 2020 home office.
15. Pictures and wall hangings. While some photos of spouse, family and friends is encouraged (as well as a brag wall), be deliberate and selective. Add artwork and photos that inspire you.
16. Use BIG pads and BIG papers. Big paper represents “big ideas”.Small “stickypads” represent “small ideas”. Ditch those tiny notepads, remove sticker reminders from your PC monitor and get a clean sheet of paper with your passwords and account information onto one page, storing it close by for ready reference.
Follow these tips and you will, most assuredly, get measurable results – providing you with less stress and less anguish. Practice forgiveness as you replace your old habits by transforming into an organized, focussed productivity machine!!
Before you know it, paper piles will disappear, old pens will be tossed, even that crusty “white-out” bottle can be parted with.
Wishing you all the best for the year 2020 and may you and your loved ones experience a year of optimal health, wealth, clarity and love.